Chris Capuano Rumors

Quick Hits: Blue Jays, Marlins, Ethier

Now that we’re midway through the 2012-13 offseason, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com checks in with executives, statistical analysts and oddsmakers to take a look at the teams that have improved themselves the most this winter. Not surprisingly, the Blue Jays are a popular choice for most improved team. Here are some more links from around MLB…


Rosenthal On Dodgers, Angels, Pirates, Indians

Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that all signs point to the Mets trading knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.  Here's more from Rosenthal's column..

  • Dodgers starters Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano are even more in play with the Pirates, Mariners, Twins, Blue Jays, and Indians among the teams checking in, major league sources tell Jon Paul Morosi.  The club began shopping Harang and Capuano at the winter meetings, anticipating that they would add at least two other starters, which turned out to be Zack Greinke and Ryu Hyun-Jin.
  • One rival executive predicts that the Angels will keep Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo while moving Vernon Wells.  The outfielder holds a no-trade clause and is owed $21MM in each of the next two seasons but probably can't bring the Angels the pitcher they need.
  • Joel Hanrahan has been linked to both the Tigers and Dodgers, but both clubs are wary of his salary, according to sources.  Hanrahan is projected to make $6.9MM in arbitration next season.
  • A source says that the Indians' four-player return for Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald won't deter them from moving right-hander Justin Masterson, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, or closer Chris Perez in the right deal,  Rival teams say the Tribe insisted upon major leaguers/major league ready pieces for Choo and they would presumably seek the same in return for their other veterans.

Latest On The Rangers: Upton, Pierzynski, Dickey

The Rangers lost out on a trade target when the Royals acquired James Shields last night, just days after losing out on free agent target Zack Greinke. Things aren't going exactly as they've planned this offseason, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a host of Rangers updates in his latest column…

  • A rival executive told Rosenthal that the Rangers are either going to overpay Josh Hamilton or overpay Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers for Justin Upton. Rangers GM Jon Daniels is so focused on Upton that he figures to eventually land him, writes Rosenthal.
  • It's not completely out of the question that the Rangers could acquire Upton and still sign Hamilton now that Greinke is off the table.
  • Anibal Sanchez is a long shot for the Rangers, but he's on their radar. A trade for R.A. Dickey is also unlikely at this point.
  • The team is said to prefer lower-cost starters and could pursue someone like Chris Capuano in a trade to provide an upgrade over Martin Perez.
  • The Rangers are interested in A.J. Pierzynski, who would obviously push Geovany Soto into a backup role. Pierzynski's left-handed bat would help to balance a heavily right-handed lineup.
  • Ian Kinsler isn't big on the idea of shifting to first base one year into his five-year extension in order to allow Jurickson Profar to play second base, but he will play wherever he's asked.
  • Daniels tells Rosenthal he's not planning on Kinsler switching positions yet and is considering all possible scenarios for the 2013 roster.
  • A three-team deal with the Rangers, Diamondbacks and Indians was "very close" to happening at the Winter Meetings. The foundation of the deal was Upton to Texas, Cabrera to Arizona, and Mike Olt and one of Trevor Bauer or Patrick Corbin to Cleveland. Presumably, other names were involved.


NL West Notes: Greinke, Dodgers, Padres

The defending World Series champions play in the NL West, but the Giants are not the ones making the biggest headlines. Here’s the latest from the division, starting in Los Angeles…

  • Barring something unexpected, the Dodgers are finished in the starting pitching market according to Olney (on Twitter).
  • Zack Greinke signed for $147MM over six years, and he could earn even more money by opting out three seasons from now, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains. The Dodgers awarded Greinke the opt-out as a compromise, as the right-hander initially sought a seven-year deal with a no-trade clause, Rosenthal reports.
  • One evaluator told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the Giants are still a better team than the Dodgers despite Los Angeles' aggressive spending. The Dodgers have questions on the left side of the infield and might be vulnerable against left-handed pitching, Olney writes.
  • The Dodgers have discussed Kevin Youkilis and Anibal Sanchez, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Sanchez may be more of a longshot given the Dodgers' internal rotation options. The team appears to have interest in dealing Aaron Harang, but Chris Capuano has drawn more trade interest, Knobler reports.
  • The Dodgers have talked to the Pirates about Capuano, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter).
  • Rosenthal wonders if the Padres could be a fit for Edwin Jackson, but concludes that San Diego probably won’t sign the free agent right-hander if he’s positioned to command a four or five-year deal (Twitter links). Padres executives Josh Byrnes and A.J. Hinch previously worked with Jackson in Arizona.

Trade Rumors: Harang, Capuano, Phillies

Let's round up a few rumblings from Nashville on players who might be on the trade block…

Earlier updates:

  • There have been "no conversations" about trading Andre EthierDodgers manager Don Mattingly tells Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
  • One rival executive thinks the Royals will eventually make a deal for Rays starter James Shields, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Within his piece, Knobler explains why the Royals are more inclined to trade Wil Myers than Billy Butler.
  • The return the Twins received for Denard Span has somewhat hampered the Indians' efforts to trade Shin-Soo Choo, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains in a pair of Twitterlinks.
  • Ramon Santiago's name has surfaced at the Winter Meetings as a potential trade candidate, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter). While Beck isn't sure if the Tigers would move him, he says the utility infielder could draw interest.
  • The Dodgers are "aggressively shopping" Juan Uribe in Nashville, but predictably aren't receiving much interest, writes Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets that when he asked an MLB official if the Yankees could have interest in Uribe with Alex Rodriguez out, he was met with a chuckle.

West Notes: Headley, Gregerson, Dodgers, Iwakuma

Today we celebrate Veterans Day, a day to recognize every person who serves our nation valiantly in the defense of our freedom and liberty whether it be in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, or National Guard. Thank you kindly to all who have served and are currently serving at home and overseas. John Schlegel of MLB.com explains how the national pastime is forever linked with the nation's armed forces and uses, as an example, the statue of Jerry Coleman erected by the Padres this past September. The pose wasn't inspired by Coleman's playing days or by his Hall of Fame broadcasting career, but of his tour of duty as a Marine pilot during World War II. Here's the latest news on the Padres and the other NL and AL West division teams:


NL East Notes: Murphy, Capuano, Dickey, Fish, Phils

The Mets and Dodgers could help each other with a trade of Daniel Murphy for a reliever, speculates ESPN's Buster Olney.  While the Mets need bullpen help, the Dodgers would use Murphy at third base, which the Mets feel is his best position (and where he's blocked by David Wright in New York).  The two sides came close to a trade involving Murphy last December.

Here's the latest from around the NL East…

  • R.A. Dickey had to struggle just to stick with the Mets, relates Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal in this story of how Dickey went from being the low man on the Mets roster to one of baseball's biggest surprises of 2012.
  • The Mets passed on re-signing Chris Capuano since they didn't think the lefty could handle a starting role and wasn't worth a two-year contract, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.  Capuano has enjoyed a big comeback season with the Dodgers, with whom he signed a two-year, $10MM deal last winter.
  • Several of the Marlins' top executives were called to Miami for a meeting today, according to Clark Spencer of the MIami Herald.  Sources are split on whether the meeting is standard business or "is anything but" normal procedure, as Spencer figures the club's disastrous June record will be the major topic of conversation in either case.
  • David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News breaks down how much payroll the Phillies have spent by position over the last five seasons, with the bullpen getting less of a share every year.
  • If you missed it earlier tonight, the Phillies have explored trading Jim Thome to an American League team.

Dodgers Sign Chris Capuano

The Dodgers announced that they signed left-hander Chris Capuano to a two-year contract that rounds out the team's rotation and may signify the end of Hiroki Kuroda's tenure in Los Angeles. The $10MM deal includes an $8MM mutual option for 2014 and $1MM in incentives. Capuano joins Clayton KershawChad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and Nathan Eovaldi in the Dodgers' rotation after a bounce-back season with the Mets. 

“Chris is an established Major League starting pitcher who adds to our staff,” GM Ned Colletti said in a statement. “He made more than 30 starts last season was a reliable part of the Mets rotation.”  

Capuano, who has had two Tommy John surgeries, didn’t pitch in the Major Leagues in 2008 or 2009. He returned to the Brewers in 2010 and pitched effectively, mostly out of the bullpen. Then, in 2011, he posted a 4.55 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 42.7% ground ball rate in 186 innings for the Mets. His unsightly ERA may be deceptive, since xFIP (3.67) and SIERA (3.60) suggest he pitched better. The Moye Sports Associates client placed 33rd on MLBTR’s list of top free agents. Ben Nicholson-Smith projected a two-year, $8MM deal for Capuano when he examined his free agent value earlier in the offseason and MLBTR's Steve Adams correctly predicted the Capuano-Dodgers pairing in MLBTR's free agent prediction contest.

The Dodgers have been aggressive this offseason, signing infielders Mark Ellis and Adam Kennedy, catcher Matt Treanor and outfielder Juan Rivera. They also locked up Matt Kemp to an eight-year, $160MM extension, so most of Colletti's offseason shopping is likely done.

Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio first reported the agreement and its terms (Twitter links) and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports and Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times added detail. Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.


Rosenthal On Capuano, Fielder, Marlins, Red Sox

The Twins offered Chris Capuano a two-year deal before he accepted the Dodgers' offer, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Here are more of Rosenthal's notes from around MLB…

  • The Marlins have discussed Prince Fielder internally and some team officials like the idea of pursuing him, according to Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi. However, they're more focused on Albert Pujols. Agent Scott Boras is telling teams that Fielder is the last available young power bat until Mike Stanton hits free agency.
  • The Pirates were also pursuing Capuano before he signed, Morosi tweets.
  • One GM says other teams backed off from Jose Reyes after the Marlins offered him $90MM over six years.
  • The Cardinals offered Albert Pujols a nine-year deal worth $190-200MM in Spring Training and haven’t changed their proposal since.
  • The Red Sox are exploring every trade possibility and considering every free agent closer, according to Rosenthal. Boston is hoping to find a bargain somewhere in the crowded market for top-tier relievers.

Twins Interested In Chris Capuano

The Twins are interested in free agent left-hander Chris Capuano, reports La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link).  The Dodgers are the only other club known to be pursuing Capuano, whose desire for a two-year contract was the reason the Mets lost interest in re-signing him.

Capuano, 33, posted a 4.55 ERA in 33 games (31 of them starts) for the Mets last season, though as Ben Nicholson-Smith explained in a recent Free Agent Stock Watch post, Capuano's xFIP and SIERA were each almost a full run lower.  Capuano didn't pitch in 2008 or 2009 due to Tommy John surgery and has spent all seven of his pro seasons in the National League.  He would seem like a good fit in Minnesota, where the rotation is unsettled beyond Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker and Carl Pavano.